Shining Kolonits

Papirusz Portal, Ildikó Lehotka, January 2015

(…)It might seem a little audacious to record an album like this (I don’t know exactly how many such publications we may find on market but probably not a lot); it is rare, that a singer feels equally at home in killer coloraturas and in slow arias as well, and what’s more – without theatre magic, with singing only at her disposal. It’s not enough to tell that Kolonits’ CD is alluring: it is radiating with beauty that we expect from singing an with wonder of listening arias.

The album is built with one Rossini’s, two Bellini’s, numerous Verdi’s and Donizetti’s arias and scenes, concentrating on virtuosity, but we do not have an impression of listening to mere technical perfection: the emotional world of the arias is omnipresent as well. A singer needs a lot of knowledge, and also a talent to commit such a thing. Even if we do not really get to see on stage the bel canto operas, this album shows us how these arias might sound. I suppose the charming richness of coloraturas makes the album attractive for the most of the listeners, but among finely selected arias we may find also more peaceful ones. The slow fragments play on emotions, sounds are never empty and dynamic changes contribute to the final effect. (…) In addition, we get a couple of such arias from Kolonits, that are not just simply of a greatest quality, but are also worth of closer study: such is Donizetti’s fragment from Linda di Chamounix, quilted with fanfarous coloratura sparkles, astonishingly sounding high notes and rolling chromatic scale threads. Such is the closing number as well, Verdi’s Lady Macbeth aria, in which, next to sublime coloraturas, we may admire powerful, bright and impressive parade of very high notes.

The excerpt from Verdi’s I Lombardi, maybe the most wonderful on the disc – and as for the atmosphere surely it is – the slow Giselda’s aria is a good example for the singer’s sensibility and atmosphere-building abilities. Kolonits does not regard virtuosity as the only important factor – and that is also a reason for which we may find peaceful pieces on the cd, those expressing the deepest feelings. The beginning of Elvira’s aria from Bellini’s I Puritani belongs to the slower ones as well and is simply miraculous, not getting boring neither for a second, but even builds tension. One should not forget the singer’s ability to create dramatic situations neither (as in Verdi’s aria of Odabella from Attila).

We get a longer excerpt from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and this is the part of the album that truly demonstrates Kolonits’ wide variety of timbres, coloratura abilities, dramatic power and tenderness, relationship with the singing partners, the equilibrium – her goal is not to put herself in the first line, this is already written in in music. Basing on that we might really appreciate an opportunity to listen to the whole piece in the Opera.

The opening number is Rossini’s famous aria from the Barber of Seville; the author wrote it for mezzo, but many sopranos sing it with great enthusiasm, of course in higher tessitura. In Kolonits’ rendition the aria is pure virtuosity. Her intonation for me is incredible, she is truly able to sing higher the sharps than – theoretically – corresponding flats. The coloraturas have been borrowed partially from Beverly Sills and other great sopranos, and some of the ornaments were written by Dániel Dinyés as well.

The album is enrichened by the presence of singing partners in the persons of Atala Schöck, Géza Gabor and Donát Varga, moreover we can hear Á la c’ARTe choir (led by Philipp György). Exceptionally beautiful is the sound of the Hungarian Studio Orchestra, and the solos – especially the horn and harp ones – are to be praised. The whole is conducted by Dániel Dinyés. It just feels good for the ear and for the soul to listen this selection, the listener may admire the variety of the composers’ ideas, all sorts of music material, the singing voice’s miracle. The self-published album is a fantastic, shining example for the others, and a great gift not only for the admirers and connoisseurs of the vocal music.

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